SYND launches African Youth Conference on environment 

  • To spotlight youth-led solutions to climate and environmental challenges 
  • Slated for May 2-4, 2024 

By Juliet ETEFE 

Strategic Youth Network Development (SYND) has launched the African Youth Conference on Natural Resources and Environmental Governance (NREG) slated for May 2-4, 2024 in Accra, Ghana.

The conference will spotlight Youth-Led Solutions capable of tackling the urgent climate and environmental issues that the African continent currently faces.

The African Youth Conference on NREG will be a significant convergence of youth from across Africa to amplify youth-led solutions around climate change, green jobs, energy transition, food systems/food security, and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) which could propel partnerships and building of synergies among participants for greater good.

Available data shows that though Africa stands as a reservoir of diverse and abundant natural resources, it is encountering significant hurdles in managing these resources sustainably.

The sustainability of resource use is threatened by illicit financial flows, illegal mining, logging, wildlife trade, unregulated fishing, and environmental degradation, resulting in an estimated annual loss of US$ 195 billion of natural capital.

The call to translate decisions into practical actions and innovative solutions at local, regional, and national levels echoes the urgency of addressing these challenges and also importantly involving the continent’s youthful population especially when a 2023 report by the Official Children and Youth Constituency of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change indicates that 76 percent of African youth lack confidence in current government action on climate change, while 65 percent have not been able to participate in government-organized climate initiatives.

To this end, the Focal person on youth in NREG at SYND, Justina Amoah emphasised that: “By spotlighting concrete and innovative youth-led solutions in critical areas such as energy transition, responsible mining, and food sovereignty, the conference seeks to facilitate knowledge exchange and collaboration among young Africans and amplify their voices as key agents in shaping sustainable environmental governance in Africa.”

Ms. Amoah noted that interacting with some youth in the green space in Ghana and beyond, the SYND has realised that the youth in Africa has huge potential to engage across all levels and become change makers, innovators, entrepreneurs, communicators, and decision-makers.

The SYND concept note added that: “The continent stands at a crossroads, where concerted efforts and innovative solutions that include young voices are imperative to harness its vast resources sustainably, ensuring not only economic prosperity but also the preservation of the environment for future generations”. 

Executive Coordinator of SYND, Chibeze Ezekiel, said the African Youth Conference is coming at the back of a successful National Youth Conference on Natural Resources and Environmental Governance held in Accra last year. 

Adding that: “This year’s African Youth Conference aims to elevate discussions to a regional level. The conference will bring together young people from across Africa

“The AYC will be a hybrid event with about 300 in-person participants expected. It will be open to young Africans, government officials, civil society organisations (CSOs), individuals from the private sector, donors and development partners, financial institutions, academic researchers, diplomatic missions, and the media”. 

Ultimately, the event will serve as an entry point for youth participation towards attaining Africa’s commitment to the African Agenda 2063 and Goals 7 (Clean & Affordable Energy), Goal 13 (Climate Action), Goal 15 (Life on Land) of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).     

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